Sleeping in for me is a sailed ship. The last time I was able to sleep past 8am (and that is being very generous) was probably 6 years ago. That was before I was pregnant with M. I can recall Saturday mornings spent hungover on the couch in our one bedroom, almost lake view, apartment. We would get up around 11am. Order food. Watch tv. Take a nap. Shower. Then head out to the bar again for a few pints of Smithwicks at our favorite Irish Pub. We used to think we were so very busy. So important. So very adult.
This morning I was woken up by M, peeking in our room, to see if we were awake. ” Squeakkkkkkkk ” the door went. Shit. Now I am up. My first thought on Saturday morning is, do I need to get out to get a quick run in or can I do it later, perhaps even tomorrow. I decided to rest today. Something funky is going on with my left leg. Now husband is up too. M crawls in bed with us. I log into Facebook to wish my irun4 buddy, Jacob, good luck on his pinewood derby today. I see something a nurse friend of mine posted as she asked her daughters a series of questions. I asked M if she wanted to partake as well. M answered the questions for me and then for husband. While some of her answers were funny and heart warming, a few of them really got me thinking.
When you are parents, you are somehow divide. One is the “mean” one that makes the kiddos eat fruit, veggies, do homework, go to the bathroom, take showers, pick up toys, write thank cards, say please, apologize, share, get shots, go to the dentist, and just tried to keep the train for derailing off the tracks. The other parent is the “nice” one. Nice parent gets to have all of the fun while the mean one, is again, trying to make sure the train doesn’t go off the tracks. I know later in life, the mean parent will be proud of the hopeful responsible, polite, little human that now is a productive part of society.
The mean parent usually also gets to be the one to provide comfort such as a hug, kiss, and holding until the world feels more safe. G is in teething toddler hell. Which means, I too, am in teething toddler hell. One minute he is happily playing and the next , tears for no reason what-so-ever. Its like he is a hormonal pregnant person. Of course, I love hugging and holding G. Wiping his tears. trying to distract with a squirrel outside or the 14 yr old beagle. However, it would be nice to be able to “flip a switch”. Being a nice parent seems more carefree, more less responsible, more fun.
The fear with the switch being flipped is that the mean, now nice parent, would return to the mean parent the next to more laundry. More dishes. More emails needing returned. More of everything. Its hard to let your finger off the trigger. The fear of “what if” and “shoulding” yourself, stops you.
Wearing my hat proud and loud as the mean parent, I have come to terms ( well, trying too anyways), with my role and what that means. Being the mean parent is needed. The balance between good cop/bad cop is not a bad thing. Kids require different traits. Although M’s answers to these ridiculous Facebook quiz made me feel “less than”, I am enough to be her mom. I am enough to hold G and give him comfort. I am enough to obsessively check on them multiple times a night. I am enough to remind them of what it takes to be a decent human being. I am enough to keep this train on the tracks.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just remembered this morning asking M to pick up her room as it looked as if her closet threw up and G is crying for no reason. Again. < goes to put on conductor mom mean hat, proudly>
(this is G in a toddler teething crying fit)